Oftentimes, there are so many TVs blaring ambient noise in a bar that you can't tell who's dunking what into where. Rookies Sports Club never has this problem. In addition to the restaurant's 10 big-screen and 2 projection TVs, each wood booth is decked out with its own personal monitor and speaker system. While watching, diners can partake in a full menu of burgers, wings, and flatbread pizzas, but they are discouraged from using the Gretzky jersey mounted on the wall as a bib. A full bar is also available.
If it weren't for the parking meters in front of Canterbury Ales' Tudor-style building, you might think you were walking into a centuries-old English pub. The spot opened up 35 years ago after two college friends—one an English literature major—journeyed to Canterbury and were inspired to start their own pub. Today, current owner Billy Hoest says patrons are delighted to find that the English-style stews, sandwiches, and never-frozen burgers they loved 35 years ago haven't changed, though they've made some additions over the years. The sizeable beer list, which rotates with the seasons, stars 20 draft beers including craft and local brews, such as Blue Point, backed up by 50 bottled varieties. But the ample sip selection doesn't make Canterbury Ales an adults-only spot. "We're very family-oriented," Billy says. "We're more of a family pub, which we find over in England, than a bar in the sense that you find here." In addition to offering a kids’ menu, he and his staff make sure there are highchairs and coloring pages on hand to welcome their younger patrons. Customers can devour their prime-rib sandwiches, English brown stews, and spicy Cajun blue burgers at dark wood tables and booths. "It's a dark, cozy, warm feel," Billy says. The interior is covered in English artifacts, including a picture of the queen, as well as more than 200 beer tap handles from brews they've tapped over the years and stained-glass panes created by a local artist to depict old English scenes. The snug pub is especially popular when the weather cools down, says Billy, and patrons can warm up with Irish, Jamaican, Mexican, and other coffees, all topped with a dollop of whipped cream. To celebrate its 35th anniversary in April 2012, Billy picked one item from the food menu and one item from the beer list and offered them at the original menu's prices. He wasn't making any money off of it, but for him, it was a way to thank loyal customers. "We have regulars all over Long Island [who] easily travel 45 minutes to an hour to come," he says. "So I do things to give back, to thank the customers for supporting us."
"We do not carry Bud, Coors, or Miller."
So reads a line on the website of Croxley's Ale House, but it might as well be a mission statement: for more than 20 years?long before the crazes of drinking microbrews or having fun took off?thirsty patrons have headed to Croxley's for flavorful tastes of Long Island craft beers. Such dedication to serving local libations earned Chris Werle & Jeffry Piciullo the Pioneer Award at the 2013 Golden Tap Awards Gala, a testament to their "forward thinking" and dedicated spirit.
At all six locations throughout Long Island and New York, Croxley's Ale House serves local and high-end beer on tap paired with hearty feasts of hamburgers, pulled-pork sandwiches, and fish and chips. Along with sipping Belgian brews at the Smithtown location's open-air beer garden, visitors can gather for games around one of the more than 40 HD TVs or belly up to the bar for twenty-cent wing nights on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.
Though Bud's Ale House lives up to its name—its locations boast up to 80 beer taps, more than 16 bottled varieties, and up to 60 televisions—this versatile eatery has something for everyone. As tasty brews pour from taps, including a daily special of $2 Bud and Bud Light drafts, bartenders deftly mix up top-shelf margaritas, colorful martinis, and classic cocktails. These adult libations wash down a hearty menu that spans the entire spectrum of American cuisine: habanero barbecue wings, steamed local clams, and meaty burgers are served up daily alongside gooey quesadillas and German-style bratwurst. Bud's desserts threaten to steal the spotlight, capping feasts with deep-fried Oreos and tangy key lime pie.
Much like many plates of food and bottles of fine wines at Blend Restaurant, the restaurant's ownership is shared. Restaurateurs Jimmy Pace and Tommy Quinn join forces with Chef Mike, whose rampant creativity transforms familiar ingredients into unusual eats. The chef serves pig wings with buffalo and asian style sauces, beef short ribs braised in Madeira demi glace, and Chilean sea bass with romesco sauce. He pairs these eats with an equally impressive array of wines, his list ripe with Napa Valley vintages and international varietals from Italy, Germany, and Argentina.